The New Kid Ch. 05bymusicfreak©
In the weeks that followed everything seemed bright. Corey and I basically acted like really good friends in school. I met his friends and he met mine. We tried to distance ourselves somewhat so as to not attract suspicion, which was fine with me. I was going to let him take his time with this. During free periods, which coincided with Scott's we would hang, only then could we be ourselves. Corey knew of Angela but seeing as he wasn't really friends with her, he didn't feel a need to tell her about our relationship, which I respected. Yeah everything looked good.
It was a Saturday and I was sitting in Corey's car, heading out of town. He had told me that he wanted to bring me somewhere, not saying anything more.
"C'mon dude, at least tell me where we're going. I mean you can keep all the activities information to yourself." I pushed.
"It's somewhere that I spent a good portion of my childhood, how about that." He teased. It was one vague answer after the next. My guess was that it was a park or something he used to go when he was younger but I couldn't be sure. To be honest, he could bring to the lamest place in the world but I would have still enjoyed myself, as long as I could spend time with him. I just hoped I was dressed for the occasion. I was wearing a black hoodie over a simple t-shirt and a pair of khakis. I looked over at Corey and he was dressed to a similar degree, a white graphic t-shirt and a pair of worn jeans.
During the hour drive, we kept playing stupid driving games. The radio was blasting music in the background and we would start singing along to the song in exaggerated ways. I was laughing so hard my sides hurt.
"We're almost there." He said. I looked out the window and realized we were driving through a suburban area. As if reading my mind, he answered my question. "We're in Santa Fe if you are wondering." Santa Fe? I thought about any link to this place and anywhere he has mentioned. Only one came to mind and my eyes widened. "Surprise?" He said, sheepishly.
"You're bringing me to your parents'?" He kept quiet. "Don't tell me you..."
"Well you told me to plan my next one so this is what I'm doing."
"Dude why are you rushing this? I can tell you are not fully confortable about doing this yet." I said. It was true, his face showing very subtle hints of nervousness.
"I'm doing it for us." He said. I sighed, part of me wanted to kiss him and part of me wanted to smack him.
"How many times do I have to tell you? I. Can. Wait. I'm not even pushing you to do it."
"But I'm pushing myself. I'm also doing this for me. I need to do it sooner or later, I might as well do it now." He said. I sighed once again and looked out my window. He drove another 2 minutes before stopping in front of a suburban home. I looked at him and waited, him looking at his hands on the steering wheel. "I know I should have told you but I thought you would refuse to come."
"Yeah no duh. Corey, coming out to your parents is something you need to be fully prepared with. And to be honest, my being there might provoke a wrong response." I said, putting my hand on his arm.
"I needed support."
I sighed. "I'll be right there with you." I said. He looked over at me and smiled weakly. I rubbed his arm and gave him a chaste kiss. I left the car, followed shortly by him. He led the way up the lawn to the porch. The house was a typical suburban home; A green lawn with a single pathway leading to a sheltered porch. He walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. He gave me a nervous glance and waited for someone to open the door.
"I've got it mom." I heard a voice, which probably belonged to Corey's younger brother, coming from inside the house. The door opened and there stood a teenager that was no doubt Corey's brother. He had similar facial features, although his hair was a light chestnut instead of black like Corey's.
"Hey bro. I've missed you." He said, hugging his brother tight.
"Hey man, how've you been?" Corey was grinning as he broke their embrace.
"You know, school sucks and all that." Corey laughed, ruffling his brother's hair. It was at this moment that his brother saw me standing there.
"Oh Zack, this is Kyle, friend from school. Kyle this is my brother, Zack." Corey said, introducing us to each other. Zack's eyes moved between Corey and me a second before he smiled and waved a 'hey' before turning and heading into the house announcing Corey's arrival.
I followed Corey into his home and saw his mom coming out of the kitchen, giving Corey a hug. "Oh honey, I missed you. How's everything at college?" She asked. She was a petite woman, no more than 5'6". Her red hair fell in waves over her shoulder, framing her face, which had hints of a once very stunning girl.
"Fine." He replied. His dad sat in the living room, in a recliner. "Hey dad."
"Hey buddy." His father replied, not taking his eyes off the newspapers he was reading. His black hair had streaks of grey in it, the only indication that we was older than he looked. His face, from what I could see looked like one of someone at least 10 years younger.
"Oh and who is this?" His mother asked, noticing my presence.
"Oh this is Kyle, friend of mine." He said. I smiled and muttered my greetings. His mother's eyebrows furrowed for a moment, really slightly before greeting me.
"So where is this Kayla?" His mother asked Corey. Kayla? I raised my eyebrow. Things were getting weirder.
"Oh uh...she got held up. She'll be here soon." He said, taking a sideways glance at me. I crossed my arms. He was hiding something and I had a pretty good idea what.
"How about you two catch up while I give Kyle a tour of the house." Zack interjected.
"That would be great. Thanks hun." His mother said, ushering Corey in the direction of his father.
"So how about I give you the upstairs tour first." Zack said, proceeding up the stairs. I followed him, still trying to wrap my mind around Corey lying about a fake girlfriend. "So this is my room." He opened the door and I looked in. My mouth dropped, I mean it was a teenager's dream room. I mean everything from the 42" flat screen on the wall connected to video game consoles of all sorts, to the double sofa bed across it. Hanging on the wall was a couple of skateboards, whether for use or merely décor I couldn't tell. A desktop with two 21" screens sat on the desk in the corner, beside it a whole selection of various DVDs. "Nothing much." He said, nonchalantly.
"Nothing much? Dude I would have killed to have a room like this." I said.
"I do some freelance video production so I get some extra cash now and then." He said. "C'mon I'll show you Corey's old room." We left the room and heading down the hall, passing a door on the left. "Parent's room. Out of bounds." He said, pointing to the room we just passed before coming to a stop at the room furthest down the hall. He opened the door and I followed him in. It was a lot less tricked out compared to Zack's but went for something a lot homier. I heard the door close behind me and I turned, seeing Zack take a seat on his brother's bed.
"Why'd you close the door?" I asked.
"There is no Kayla is there." He said, more of a statement than a question. "You were the person he was bringing."
"Um...to be honest I don't really know what he's planning." I wasn't exactly lying, although I did know that Corey knew no one by the name of Kayla.
"Are you denying that you're his boyfriend, because if you are you're not making much of an argument." I kept quiet, not wanting to reveal anything that I shouldn't. "Listen, I don't care. He could be dating an animal for all I care, but I just wanted to make sure. My parents are the ones he should be worrying about." For a kid he sure was matured and seemingly handling the situation really well.
"So you're okay with it?" I asked.
"Yeah I mean, he's still my brother, doesn't matter what sex he prefers. I take it he didn't tell you he was coming here?" He asked.
"How did you know?"
"You've been rubbing your hands the whole time. You nervous?" He asked. I hadn't even realized my hands the whole time. I quickly stuffed my hands in my pockets.
"Understandable. I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes. Gives the parents someone to blame if they didn't take the news well." He said. My respect for him grew; he wasn't some ignorant straight dude. I guess my respect showed because he acknowledged it. "Best friend. Gay. He tells me stuff." He said, hoping I wasn't getting the wrong message.
"Yeah I figured." I laughed.
"So yeah, now that that's cleared, let's head down." He said, opening the door and waiting for me to exit. As I passed, he muttered, "Good luck." I smiled and nodded my thanks, before proceeding back down the stairs. Corey was chatting with his dad. To the left, his mom was setting up the table for lunch, Zack coming down after me and going to help his mom. I figured I had better make a good impression to help ease anything that may happen later. I walked to the kitchen where his mom was getting ready.
"Anything I can help with, Mrs Hanson?" I asked.
"Oh um sure." I guess my offer to help surprised her a little. "You can help Zack set the table. Here." She said, handing me a stack of plates. I did as I was told, setting the table for a party of six instead of five for the imaginary Kayla. Once everything was set, Corey came in.
"Should we get started? I'm starving." He asked.
"Aren't we waiting for Kayla?" His mom voiced. I looked at Corey waiting for him to come up with something. Part of me enjoyed watching him squirm, the part that was pissed that he lied to me about all this.
"Oh uh...she texted, she asked for us to continue ahead, she may be a little longer than expected." Corey lied.
"Oh it's no matter we can wait for her." His mom said, his plan going up in smoke.
"No it's no need, I'm starving mom." He whined for effect.
"Yeah I'm starving too." Zack chimed in, clearly trying to help his brother out. I smiled, my support there was one thing but family support was always a welcome, even if Corey knew nothing of his brother's intentions.
"Oh fine. I hope she won't mind." His mom said.
"She won't." Corey said, glancing at me. Mrs Hanson went to get her husband, leaving the room for a moment.
"Yeah cause she doesn't exist." I whispered to Zack from the corner of my mouth, to which he chuckled, making Corey look over at us. He raised and eyebrow at us and we both shrugged our shoulders simultaneously. Mrs Hanson reappeared with her husband. They took their seats, Mr Hanson at the head of the table and Mrs Hanson on his left. Corey took a seat on the other side of his dad, while I took one next to him. Zack sat across from me, pursing his lips.
"Well then tuck in. Kyle I hope you like the food." Mrs Hanson said, smiling sweetly at me. I looked at the food on my plate and took a bite. It was pretty good. It had been a while since my last home cooked meal and I was enjoying it.
"It's really good Mrs Hanson." I said, putting another spoonful of potatoes into my mouth.
"Glad you like it." She smiled.
"Mom loves it when she gets compliments about her food." Zack said, before Mrs Hanson chuckled and lightly pushed his head. If not for the fact that I was so nervous about what was yet to come, it would have been a wonderful time. His family was very nice and it was obvious they were close, which is mostly a good thing when it comes to gay kids. After lunch, 'Kayla' had still not arrived, for obvious reasons.
"Wow she's really running late." Mr Hanson voiced, putting down his cutlery. Zack and myself looked over at Corey, who looked at us in return. He still had no idea Zack knew but I gave him a look that this was the time to say it.
"Okay, mom, dad, I have something to tell you guys." He said, putting down his utensils as well.
"Um...I'll go get desert. Kyle can you help me?" Zack said, getting out of his chair, I followed. We headed for the kitchen, just out of view of the dinning table. "I think you might wanna stay here for a bit. Let him do this on his own." He proceeded to get the pie sitting on the counter, leaving me in the kitchen.
"Here's the pie. Kyle had to use the bathroom." I heard Zack say, explaining my absence. "So what was it you wanted to say?"
"Yeah...I uh needed to tell you guys something." Corey said. When no one said anything he took a deep breath before continuing. "Listen guys, there is no Kayla. I made her up."
"Okay...so you're not attached then?" His mother said.
"Not exactly. You see...uh...I am seeing someone right now."
"Okay so when will we meet her? What's her name?" His father so far hadn't said anything and I wondered what their expressions were like. I leaned against the kitchen counter waiting for the events to unfold.
"That's the thing. You've already met the person, and it's not a her."
"I'm sorry I don't get you." I closed my eyes. This was it; the next sentence would determine his parent reactions.
"I'm gay." What followed was a silence so thick you could have heard a pin drop. The silence was deafening. Everyone didn't say anything for a solid minute.
"Well I'm happy for you." Zack said, finally breaking the silence and probably the awkward tension surrounding the dinning table.
"I don't understand. How?" His mom spoke, her voice choked, as if holding back tears.
"I've always been like this. It's just...I've discovered myself recently and..." He stopped. The silence returned. Ten, twenty, thirty seconds passed. Finally his mother spoke again.
"You've been quiet this whole time. Say something." She directed her question to her husband but he remained silent. "No. You are just confused. You are perfectly normal. You just have a disease. It can be cured." His mother said. I cringed at the use of words. Those were the kind of hateful words that cut at you deeply. I heard the dragging sound of a chair on the hardwood floor.
"I am normal mom, and if you think I have a disease then..." He wanted to say something but he couldn't bring himself to say it. I heard his footstep leaving and stomping up the stairs. I walked out of the kitchen, still out of sight but I saw Zack getting up, running to the stairs. He saw me and shook his head, indicating that he would handle Corey. I turned and walked out the sliding door at the back of the kitchen.
The cool air hit my face and I stood on the back porch. There was no direct mention of me but I figured that one of his parents would put it together and determine it was me whom Corey was talking about and come find me, put the blame on me. I rested my arms on the porch railing, putting my face in my hands. I looked at the pool, sunlight glimmering off the surface. I heard the door slide open behind me and I prepared for it.
I saw him lean onto the railing to my left, looking out to the backyard. I didn't look at him, my gaze focused on the pool surface. We didn't talk for 2 minutes, although it felt like forever. "So I just heard some pretty big news in there." He said.
"Oh? What about?" I asked, feigning ignorance.
"Corey just came out to us." He stopped. I remained silent. Here it comes. The whole I know he was talking about you. You changed our son blah blah blah. "So you're his boyfriend?" He asked. His tone didn't sound accusatory but curious. I nodded, feeling that lying was pointless. What he said next surprised me I looked at him for the first time since we were standing there, wide eyed. "Help him through this."
"Help him through this. I'll convince his mother...somehow. Let him know we love him, no matter what." He said.
"With all due respect sir, you guys should tell him that. What he needs is for his parents to know that they still love him, and not hearing it through someone else." I said, returning my gaze to the pool. He sighed.
"You're a good kid Kyle. Trust my son to pick one like you." He said. I blushed but didn't look at him. "Well I think I should talk to my wife. She seems a little frazzled by all this." He chuckled and turned back into house. I waited a few minutes before heading back in. Mrs Hanson was still sitting at the dining table, in deep conversation with her husband. I quickly walked past them, heading for the stairs.
"Stop." Mrs Hanson said, quite loudly. I didn't know if she was talking to her husband, or me but her commanding tone immediately made me stop in my tracks. I turned my head and true enough, her eyes were fixed on me. She eyed the seat furthest away from her, and I took it. "Why him." She said, glaring at me. I was at a lost for words, either from the hate in her eyes or her accusatory tone. "There are thousands of other guys, why did you have to pick him." She said. "Make him...dirty."
At the utter of that word I felt the anger boil in me. "It's not a disease. You make it seem like it is a choice. Well guess what, it's not. So instead of making your son feel worse about who he is, how about help him through it." I shouted. She looked stunned for a moment before her shock turned to anger.
"How dare you. How dare you question my parenting? Let me guess, your parents accepted you right, so anyone who does different is bad parenting? Who's to say that your parents aren't the bad parents?" She shouted. I was about to retort when Mr Hanson interrupted.
"Because good parents don't make their kids feel that they are not worth it, Grace. Good parents don't treat their kid like there is something wrong with them. I for one am proud of him, because he showed courage beyond anything I could have hoped for." He said. He looked over at me and nodded, indicating it was okay for me to leave. I got up and climbed the stairs. I continued to hear them arguing before their voices faded away. I walked to Corey's bedroom door and knocked.
"Who is it?" I heard Zack say.
"It's me, I'm coming in." I pushed open the door and walked in closing the door behind me. Corey lay on his old bed, arms behind his head, staring at the ceiling. Zack sat in a chair beside the bed, tossing a baseball in the air, before catching it.
"Is it bad?" Zack asked.
"Your parents are arguing right now. Let's just say they have different opinions on the matter." I sat down on the end of his bed looking over at Corey. "You okay?"
"I think so."
"You know we're here for you right?" Zack said.
"Thanks bro. You are like the best brother I could ever have." He said.
"Yeah yeah don't get mushy on me. I'm gonna head back to my room. Let you two talk." He said, tossing the baseball at Corey and exiting the room. "Can't say I didn't expect it." Corey said. I knew he was talking about the bad reaction from his mother.
"Look at the bright side, at least your dad and brother are okay with it." I tried looking on the positive side.
"Yeah. I thought he would be the one that would be mad, not my mom. He took me to my first ball game, you know. I can't remember it but he told me I caught this ball here." He said, motioning to me the baseball in his hand. "Always told me that when he was younger, he wanted to be a professional baseball player and in some way I knew he wanted me to maybe follow his dream, but baseball wasn't really my thing. I remember telling him after baseball practice once that I didn't want to continue, and I could still remember seeing that flicker of sadness in his eyes. But still he told me he wouldn't force it upon me."
"What about your brother? He doesn't like baseball either?" I asked.
He chuckled. "Zack was never a sporty person. He likes computers and technology, which was probably why he got into video production in the first place." He was about to continue when there was a knock on the door.
"Can I come in?" His father said, cracking the door open a tad.
"Yeah." Corey said, sitting up on his bed.